KPD wants Kawaihau substation

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a request from Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Darryl Perry to use $300,000 of the department’s asset forfeiture funds to begin work on a police substation that ultimately would cost $6 million.

“This $300,000 is just to get us started,” Deputy County Engineer Lyle Tabata said about the planned Kawaihau Police Substation. The funds will be used for  preliminary planning, an environmental assessment, permits and the procurement process, Tabata said.

The council later will be asked to approve $6 million for full design work and construction of a substation that is expected to be completed by mid-2014.

Deputy Police Chief Michael Contrades said the department is in the process of securing a 50-year lease at $1 per year on a site by Mahelona Hospital, central to Kawaihau district boundaries.

“It gives us easy access to all the feeder roads next to it. We can easily access Kapahi and down to Wailua, down to Kapa‘a,” Contrades said.

“It’s a good location for officers to respond.”

The proposed substation site is near  Kapa‘a High School, Kapa‘a Elementary School  and St. Catherine School.

The $6 million price tag will not include furniture and equipment, Tabata said.

The existing Kapa‘a Police Substation, a modular building near Kapa‘a Beach Park, opened in 1995 as a report writing room and was later converted to a substation.

Officers working on the Eastside report to work at the substation, which is in a flood zone and is in violation of  Land Water Conservation Fund rules,  Contrades said.

“It’s important for us to get out of that building as soon as possible,” he said.

The department also needs a larger substation, Contrades said. The current substation is 400 square feet in size.

“While we are planning for this new and permanent station, we will be at the Kapa‘a Armory,” Contrades said.

The current substation will move to its new, temporary location as early as June 1.

The new substation will follow a design similar to that of the Pahoa Police Station on the Big Island, with a few changes to meet Kaua‘i’s needs, Contrades said. The new building will be approximately 7,500 square feet in size.

“It will not only meet our needs; we are planning for the future,” Contrades said.

Perry said his department is already experiencing a shortage of space at the recently built headquarters in Lihu‘e, and the building likely will become more crowded as new recruits join the force.

 Perry said the planned substation will have a holding cell, but it will not be used as a long-term holding facility for suspects.

“Nobody will be held there overnight. It will be a temporary holding cell,” Perry said.

Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or lazambuja@ thegardenisland.com.

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